"Ask a sapeur about his motivations and he will usually tell you that sapeurs want to prove to the Europeans that Africans can beat them at their own game. Whites may have introduced clothing to central Africa, but the naked savages have become cooler and more elegant than their hopelessly frumpy colonizers" (Wrong 1999: 27).
The Sape, or Societe des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elegantes: atmosphere setters and elegant people, might be the best dressed Africans if you ask me. Elegant they are indeed, with their double-breasted suits and their smooth moves. Furthermore, the fact that they call themselves atmosphere setters is internationally aknowledged. At the beginning of this year their status was again confirmed with the Guinness beer ad
. "In life, you cannot always choose what you do, but you can always choose who you are" ..
Images: Walter van Beirendonck
, Paul Smith
, ELLE Netherlands
, FAB Magazine
, Louis Philippe de Gagoue